Saturday, October 6, 2007

Marion Jones - The System is Broke!

The evidence is clear.. the system is broke! We can get disappointed in individuals like Marion Jones who after years of benefiting from her lies, now freely admits her guilt when it may benefit her. but the system is broke.. Here it is in bullet format:
  • In 2000, Jones was an Olympic champion, an Icon with manufactures begging her to be sponsors for her products. It would have been hard to say no to millions of dollars.. can you really blame her.. a little lie and she has a great cash flow.. but after a divorce, a house foreclosure, and now a possible prison term.. Ms Jones is the loser.. chewed up by the a system that promotes the very behavior she has exhibited.
  • In the Women's World Cup, Coach Ryan chooses to go with a more experience goal keeper, one who has faced the opponent over a younger but still accomplished player. The player who is benched disrespects her coach and also her team member... the media and community rallies to support the benched player rather than acknowledge that respect for the team and coach should come first over winning. (See my last post)
  • In the 2006 Men's World cup, France captain Zinedine Zidane wins the Golden Ball award for the World Cup's best player, despite getting a red card while losing to Italy in the final. the head butt was uncalled for, intentional, away from the play, and very malicious, and yet... Zidane polled 2012 points in the vote by journalists covering the tournament, ahead of Italian Fabio Cannavaro (1977 points) and Andrea Pirlo (715 points).
  • In 2004, with his new book hitting the bookstores and after years of denial, Pete Rose freely admits that he bet on baseball. What's his motive.. selling books, getting into the Hall of Fame. The system rewards this behavior.. to this day, he is still making appearances and signing autographs. (Disclaimer.. he was one of my childhood idols)
I could list more.. B. Bonds, T. Owens, The Yankees and Boston buying winning teams, etc... but you get the picture. Between a media that often depends on the hyped stories, manufacturers who have co opted our sport stars to sell their wares, and a lost of respect for the sportsmanship.. we have a system that is rewarding cheaters and failing all of us. It impacts every level of the game.. down to junior high stars who go to Nike camps where they will get a better shot at scholarships to college and end up being a marketing tool for Nike .. or high school parents who get into fights with coaches over who plays.. the stories are many.. and the conclusion is clear: The System is broke! And the sad part.. is most fans want it this way... We buy Nike.. we beg for autographs.. we pay unreal prices for 3 hours in a tight seat watching something that is on our TV at home.. To quote Dr. Suess..

"And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We can not pick it up.
There is no way at all"

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